On top of being one of the teams that have shown interest in signing free agent winger Ilya Kovalchuk, the Red Wings also are interested in signing winger Thomas Vanek this summer, reports MLive’s Ansar Khan. Vanek spent most of the 2016-17 season with Detroit and fared quite well, recording 15 goals and 23 assists in 48 games before being shipped as a rental to Florida at the trade deadline. Vanek’s nomadic journey continued this past season and he could once again be in line for a one-year deal in free agency.
Khan adds that the Red Wings has their eyes set on a pair of goalies that are soon set to hit the open market in Carter Hutton (St. Louis) and Anton Khudobin (Boston). Both netminders have shown that they are capable of handling more than the typical workload for a backup goalie which will come in handy given incumbent Jimmy Howard’s up-and-down performance over the last few years.
Elsewhere in the Atlantic:
- In the same column, Khan provides the details for the contract offers that Detroit has on the table for pending UFA defenseman Mike Green. The Red Wings have pitched a one-year, $6MM offer which matches what he made in each of the past three years as well as a two-year, $10MM proposal. Green is slated to be one of the more prominent defenders on the open market this summer and is expected to be fully recovered from the cervical spine surgery he had back in April.
- Although there have been reports that the Sabres were expected to buy out winger Matt Moulson, Sabres GM Jason Botterill told Mike Harrington of The Buffalo News that the team does not have any interest in buying anyone out at the moment. Moulson has one year remaining on his contract with a $5MM cap hit and spent most of 2017-18 in the minors on loan to the Kings’ AHL affiliate in Ontario. While a buyout would save Buffalo some cap room this season compared to putting him in the minors, it would also create a cap charge of nearly $667K on their books for 2019-20. The Sabres have a lot of cap room at the moment so they may feel that they’re better off absorbing the higher cost for 2018-19 to get him off the books entirely instead of taking on the extra hit the following year.
- Speaking with reporters to discuss Friday’s trade, Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin stated (via Arpon Basu of The Athletic on Twitter) that they currently have no plans to buy anyone out. Montreal had several veterans that underachieved in 2017-18 but most are signed for at least the next two years which would make a buyout somewhat prohibitive long-term.
- Tampa Bay has yet to begin contract talks with pending RFA forward J.T. Miller, reports Joe Smith of The Athletic (Twitter link). Instead, it appears that discussions between the two sides will pick up at the draft. The 25-year-old has wrapped up his bridge contract, is coming off of a career season offensively, and has arbitration rights which put him in line for a sizable raise from the Lightning on the $2.75MM he made in each of the last two years.